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THE SCOOP | Sistema Toronto Steps Up With Vaccine Support Initiative

With COVID-19 on the rise in Toronto, it’s all hands on deck, including musicians.Sistema Toronto, a non-profit organization that provides after-school music education to underserved Toronto neighbourhoods, has received private funding to launch a new vaccine support initiative.Despite a higher impact from COVID-19, only 5.5 percent in the Jane and Finch area have been vaccinated versus 22 percent of residents in the upscale St. Clair and Rosedale neighbourhood.Black Creek (including the Jane and Finch) has a rate of 1,182 cases per 100,000, four times higher than Toronto’s Rosedale-Moore Park neighbourhood.The Ontario government is trying to provide access to pop-up vaccine locations. Newcomers, low-income families, and essential workers in the Parkdale, Jane-Finch, and East Scarborough areas face significant challenges with access to physicians.Sistema Toronto will use the funding to leverage their network of teaching artists to provide the connections the public needs to quicken vaccinations in these more vulnerable areas.“As a community music program, we are not typically in the business of giving out health advice and support, but at this time, the Government is failing these communities and we don’t see any other option. Someone has to step up,” said Andres Tucci-Clarke, Managing Director of Sistema Toronto.#LUDWIGVANGet the daily arts news straight to your inbox.Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE. Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all) Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all)

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Vaughan Williams: Let The Music Say It All

Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 4 and 6 (LSO Live)★★★★☆🎧 Spotify | Apple Music | AmazonRecordings of Ralph Vaughan Williams fall into the middle of the Atlantic. English interpreters — Boult, Barbirolli, Hickox, Handley and most recently Andrew Manze — veer towards understatement, allowing the power of the music to emerge by stealth. Americans — Stokowski, Previn, Slatkin — are more energetic and explicit. These may be broad generalisations, but they reflect just how narrow the arteries are of Vaughan Williams reception. No star non-UK or US conductor has ever taken up his symphonies. The only European champion on record is the Dutchman Kees Bakels on Naxos.Where do these concerts by the London Symphony Orchestra’s new chief Antonio Pappano come into the equation? Somewhere middle of the route. Italian born and London bred, Pappano brings a dramatic perspective from his operatic occupation without distorting the gentle rhythms of the English landscape that are so central to the composer’s nature.He hustles things along in the fourth symphony, where Boult gets bogged down, and he shows real anger in the sixth. These are cogent and apt approaches, reminiscent in certain ways of John Barbirolli in the 1930s before he succumbed to disappointment and drink. The LSO have had this music in their bloodstream since its inception and if their clarity on record is less than pristine, that is probably down to bad hall acoustics and engineering.The fourth symphony (1934) displays RVW at his most Sibelian. The sixth (1944-47) is ruminative and morose, shadowed by contemporary world events. Its performance here was given in mid-March 2020, just ahead of the first COVID-19 lockdown. The atmosphere is apprehensive. Pappano avoids stressing the textures in terrifying times. He lets the music say it all.To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.#LUDWIGVANGet the daily arts news straight to your inbox.Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE. Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.Latest posts by Norman Lebrecht (see all) Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.Latest posts by Norman Lebrecht (see all)